CCTV cameras are a waste of money, implies big brass copper

May 8, 2008 11:17am CST
Despite the United Kingdom now being reputedly the most watched country on Earth, Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, head of the Metropolitan Police Visual Images, Identifications and Detections Office (VIIDO) has admitted that only 3% of robberies in London have been solved using security camera footage. He says that one of the problems is that trawling through CCTV footage is so tedious that a lot of policemen can't be bothered "because it's hard work". He also says villains aren't afraid of cameras. I can certainly back him up on this point - my gun club used to have a CCTV camera on a pole outside the entrance. The camera got stolen one night. He goes on to say: "Billions of pounds has been spent on kit, but no thought has gone into how the police are going to use the images and how they will be used in court. It's been an utter fiasco: only 3% of crimes were solved by CCTV." There's more to the story, which you can read here: Of course being an upper echelon copper, DCI Neville doesn't go so far as to say that the system should be scrapped - that would be against government policy. Instead, he puts his faith in new software and increased use of the internet to improve the situation. IMIO, what should be done instead is to de-emphasise CCTV, spend the money on extra beat coppers instead, together with providing more prison places so judges aren't just sending criminals home with little more than a stern telling off on those occasions when they actually do get caught - and scrap the anti-self defence laws to allow the peaceful majority to carry weapons to defend themselves with. Then we'll see the crime rate fall.
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